A Festivus Message: The Airing Of Cannabis Grievances | GreenState

A Festivus Message: The Airing Of Cannabis Grievances | GreenState
A Festivus Message: The Airing Of Cannabis Grievances | GreenState

Festivus may be a made up pop culture holiday, but it’s become an ubiquitous part of the American holiday season. While the vast majority of people likely don’t put up a metal pole or engage in the feats of strength, many of us turn on the classic Seinfeld episode “The Strike” every December 23rd and have a good laugh.

For those who aren’t familiar, the episode goes like this: as the holiday season rolls around, it’s revealed that neurotic George Costanza’s indignant father once created a new celebration after becoming embroiled in a battle for a doll he hoped to give his young son as a gift. “A Festivus for the rest-of-us.” 

The holiday includes many unusual traditions, including adopting an anti-tinsel stance and, of course, the annual “airing of grievances.”

As most of you know, I like to keep things pretty positive regardless of how dark the world may get. But as Festivus rolled around this year, I started to think about some of my own grievances—specifically in the cannabis industry. While these sentiments may be commonplace, I figured I’d take the one day of the year we’re encouraged to chirp to lay them all on the table.

Free the plant

The first complaint is obvious: cannabis is still illegal. Despite the fact that nearly all U.S. states have legalized the plant in some form, it remains a Schedule I substance. There are still tens of thousands of people in prison because of prohibition. Even more have permanent criminal records that impede their ability to secure housing, employment, and other basic human rights. 

Support for federal marijuana legalization is at an all-time high. Many of our nation’s leaders, including the POTUS himself, have said no one should be in jail for cannabis—and yet, here we are. 

While we’re at it, let’s ensure people have the right to grow at home. Most of the legal states prohibit or severely restrict home cultivation. It’s unfair, arbitrary, and limits access for those who need cannabis the most.

Let us succeed

My second grievance piggy-backs off the first. Since cannabis remains illegal nationwide, people working in this multi-billion dollar industry face roadblocks at every turn. 

Operators who are compliant in their home states cannot make ends meet due to over-regulation and taxation from 280E. Licenses are expensive and difficult to obtain. Since most banks don’t want to give cannabis people loans, the majority of legacy folks simply don’t have the resources to get in the legal game.

Simply posting about the plant can get anyone kicked off social media (just ask this reporter). Other traditional marketing channels that every other industry uses are seemingly out of reach. And a lack of interstate commerce creates an unnecessary divide hurting brands and consumers alike.

We all do better when we all do better

Speaking of division, my next gripe revolves around the in-fighting taking place in our community. I understand that the shift from an underground culture to a more capitalist industry brings up a lot of feelings, and rightly so. The people who truly deserve to thrive simply aren’t given the chance.

But we have to unite if we want this thing to work. Espousing vitriol online, allowing a scarcity mindset to lead, and closing ourselves off from others over our differences is not getting us anywhere. In fact, it’s precisely what the prohibitionists want: for us to implode from within.

We can and should do better. And while we’re at it, why don’t we level up our game across the board? 

People hosting seshes: please have ample water and ashtrays available. We’re throwing these elaborate, expensive parties, yet we’re putting our joints out in red solo cups like teenagers while enduring a literal Sahara desert in our mouths.

Regulators: please stop forcing brands to use single-use plastic. Whether its RFID tags or huge packaging to fit all of your required information, the planet is suffering thanks to you.

Budtenders and buyers: stop putting THC at the forefront. Educate consumers about terpenes and other cannabinoids, and help them find what’s right for them. Please put more low potency weed on the menu and offer whole plant medicine for all.

A Festivus miracle

It’s easy to hide behind a computer screen and air our grievances, but let’s take this opportunity to commit to change. Let’s advocate for those still suffering the scars of the war on drugs. Let’s do what we can to improve the legal cannabis industry from the inside. Let’s stop the hype engine and get back to basics. 

Less talking, more doing. That would be a true Festivus miracle. 



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